Are your email delivery rates less than 100%? Take the 15 minute challenge, setup SendGrid transactional email, and relax knowing you're in good hands.
Already using SMTP? Why use a transactional email service?
Sending your WordPress form emails via SMTP means that the worst of your email woes are behind you. But are you hitting email provider limits?
For many Formidable users, EVERY single message is vital. Anything less than 100% email delivery is not good enough! To ensure you get as close to 100% as possible, consider using a transactional email delivery service like SendGrid.
When does your email provider SMTP fall short?
Gmail and other email providers send reliable emails. But only when you are sending less than 500 emails per day. This limit is different for each provider, but once the limit is reached, no emails will be sent.
When a single undelivered message could cost your business money, it makes sense to take extra steps to ensure success.
SendGrid VS SendInBlue
While there are a ton of SMTP provider options, like Mailgun, that will send WordPress emails, I personally use SendInBlue. I don't send many emails, and SendInBlue offers a free plan for users who send less than 300 messages a day. SendInBlue's services are aimed more at sending email lists (like a supercharged Mailchimp) than direct SMTP, so new users need to manually request access to send with SMTP.
SendGrid's services are aimed more at direct email sending, either via their API or using their optimized SMTP service. This makes setup a bit simpler and quicker. Their main offering starts at $9.95 a month with a limit of 40,000 messages per month on their basic plan.
Put the SendGrid 15 minute setup to the test
Let's check to see if the famous "15 minute setup" that SendGrid boasts about is realistic. Gather your email details and set your stopwatch.... GO!
Step 1 - Signup at SendGrid.com (1:00 pm)
This part is easy. I selected the "Free 30 day trial" option, chose a username & password, entered my email address, completed the reCaptcha, and clicked submit. The next page asks for some additional info, but nothing out of the ordinary - just first name/last name, company name, website address etc etc - the work of moments to complete.
Step 2 - Verify email address (1:02 pm)
As soon as the account page loaded, there was a big prompt at the top of the screen about verifying my email address. Until you verify you are limited to sending max 100 emails a day, so I quickly checked my inbox and clicked the link.
Step 3 - Choose SMTP setup (1:05 pm)
Next I saw options for sending messages, with a choice of using API or SMTP. My last tutorial covered SMTP, so you should already know how to enter your details into your SMTP plugin. If you use "Postman SMTP", this plugin supports the API directly too, so you can choose either option. I chose the SMTP option. I named my API for the first step, and all the SMTP details I needed were shown below.
Step 4 - Update settings in my email plugin and email client (1:08pm)
I opened up my WordPress dashboard and navigated to the settings for my SMTP plugin, and copied all the info over - but why should the goodness be limited to my website? In just 2 or 3 minutes I'd also opened up my email client (I use Microsoft Outlook - but don't judge - I'm old school) and updated the SMTP settings there too, giving improved delivery rates for ALL my emails!
Step 5 - Send a test email (1:13 pm)
I sent a quick test email from my computer - counted to 10, and hit the "Verify Integration" button on the screen... and hey presto, I'm all setup and ready to go - simple as that!
The SendGrid verdict
I'm impressed! Remember I usually use SendInBlue. This was my first time ever setting up with SendGrid. Even so, it was simple, intuitive and very quick to complete - 13 minutes from start to finish, with a couple of short interruptions for screenshots within that time too!
If your business relies on email communication, and you've experienced the frustration of undelivered messages - now is the time to act. Check out SendGrid or any of the multitude of transactional email alternatives. Take 15 minutes out of your day to switch. I can tell you from personal experience that you will not regret it!
One of the specifications of the website I am building that all the signup forms (we have many) should at least fire one email. So it was crucial to choose a good transactional email service. And one that would play nicely with Formidable. Sendgrid actually has a WordPress plugin that replaces the default wp_mail(), so it's transparent to use it with Formidable:
So far so good!
Mailgun's a great choice in production, too. Quick setup, rock solid systems, and a WP plugin for sending via REST API.
I use Mailgun also; actually strongly prefer it to SendGrid.
...was thinking how cool it'd be to have an FormidablePro (addon?) integrate with Mailgun's Email Validation API (like their email service, validation also has generous 'free' usage allowance). Cheers, Max